Local Government Profile
Hazard and vulnerability profile
Cairns Regional Council fundamentally adopts an ‘all-hazards’ approach to their disaster
planning. This approach recognizes that although counter-measures will often vary with
specific hazards, it is desirable to establish a single set of management arrangements
capable of encompassing all hazards. However our disaster planning also identifies
particular areas vulnerable to specific risk (i.e. Storm Tide, Cyclone, Tsunami, Flooding),
and developed procedures and plans accordingly. The main risks to Cairns (in order of
1. Cyclones / Storm Surge
Other threats identified in Council’s Risk Management Strategy, but are deemed as
lower risks, are Heat wave, Landslip and Earthquake.
To learn more about Cairns' Hazard & Vulnerability Profile, see their Nomination Form attached
Disaster Risk Reduction Activities
Here is an overview of progress by Cairns Regional Council on meeting the Ten Essentials. You can learn more about their initiative on each essential in the documentations attached.
Essential 1: : Risk reducing organization and coordination in place
Cairns Regional Council has a Disaster Management Plan which identifies the current Disaster risk for our area. The plan is
informed by Disaster Risk Management Studies as well as the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) who
convene at least 10 times annually. This Plan and its 13 associated operational plans are update on an annual
basis, to ensure its currency and any new risks are identified.
Essential 2: Budget assigned
Annual budget for management and resourcing of the local State Emergency Service. The State Emergency
Service in the Cairns Region consists of over 300 dedicated volunteers who train regularly in order to be able
to provide assistance to the community in times of disaster. Council is committed to resourcing this essential
volunteer emergency service through the provision and maintenance of training facilities, vehicles and
equipment to the 11 active groups.
Essential 3: Risk assessment prepared
• Local Disaster Management Plan
• Natural Disaster Risk Management Reports and Studies for the region
• Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan ‐ including recommendation for Disaster Management #2127630
• Corporate Risk Register
• Storm Tide Report and mapping
• Evacuation Strategy and mapping
• Hazard mapping
Essential 4: Investment in risk reducing infrastructure
Major drainage and flooding works. 2009/10 initiatives include:
- $3.15 million on CBD south flood mitigation works – a joint project funded by all levels of Government
- $740,000 for Kamerunga Village flood mitigation works.
- Lake Placid flood gates and mitigation works
- $500,000 for the O’Leary’s Creek culvert.
- $250,000 for a study into the Moody Creek detention basin.
Essential 5: Safe schools and health facilities
• Conduct annual awareness sessions with local schools
• Had discussions with the School Curriculum Manager for the Region regarding including disaster management
in school curriculum.
• Sent disaster management and preparedness information package to all schools in our region
• Cairns Base Hospital and Cairns Private Hospital are member of the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG)
Essential 6: Risk-compliant building regulation and land use applied
CairnsPlan (Council’s current planning instrument for our region) contains Overlay Codes for the Cairns Area which
regulate assessable development where the site is subject to possible landslip, bushfire or flooding and is
• 3.5.1 Hillslopes
• 3.5.11 Bushfire Hazard
• 3.5.12 Flood management
Overlay codes have been developed for the above and are:
• 4.6.4 Hillslopes Code
• 4.6.7 Bushfire Hazard Code
• 4.6.8 Flood Management Code
The new FNQ Regional Plan has particularly reference to including Disaster Management considerations in local government planning.
Essential 7: Education programmes and training in place
On an annual basis, the Disaster Management Unit (in consultation with the Local Disaster Management Group and
Corporate Communication Branch) deliver a cyclone season public awareness campaign.
In 2009‐10 this process was formalised in a Community Education Strategy developed by the Local Disaster Management Group's Community Education Sub‐Committee.
Essential 8: Ecosystems and natural buffers protected
Far North Queensland is one of the six key ‘hot spots’ in Australia were the impacts of climate change are likely to
be significant, with potentially large losses to built environment from flooding, sea‐level rise and storm surges
associated with tropical Cyclones .
In addition, one of the projected risks of climate change for the Cairns area is an increased exposure to
catastrophic events, such as cyclone flooding and droughts and also compound the effects of exiting threats (FNQ
Regional Plan 2009‐2031).
Studies have also shown there will be a marked increase in the severe category 3.‐5 cyclones, and an increase of
60% and 140% of the intensity of the most extreme cyclones for 2030 and 2070 respectively .
A qualitative risk assessment was undertaken as part of Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Cairns Region,
which identified the extreme risks for both 2030 and 2070 to be associated with four main factors:
1. increasing storm surges
2. more intense tropical cyclones
3. sea level rise
4. more intense rainfall.
The proposed project is included in the recommendations of Council’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan (CCAP)
finalised in July 2009, where it details the need to identify flood immune community evacuation routes and taking
into account the changing patterns of flood immunity arising from climate change.
The Evacuation Strategy is aimed at enhancing community well being and safety, as well improving the
community’s long‐term resilience to natural disasters.
Essential 9: Early warning systems installed
The National Emergency Warning System has now been implemented for all levels of Government to access across
the Country. This system will allow Emergency Alerts to be sent by emergency services to all landline telephones
and mobiles in a ‘defined’ geographical location.
It will be used in short notice disaster events such as bushfire and tsunami threats. It is not an opt in service and
will go to all phone/mobile with a billing address in the ‘defined’ location.
Essential 10: Needs-based (survivors) reconstruction
• Community Support Sub‐Committee and Operational Plans
• MOU for Coordination of Evacuation Centres with Australian Red Cross and other non‐governmental agencies
• District Recovery Committtee
The documents have been posted as received. The designations employed do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area, or of its authorities.